In Fall 2012 Professor Doug Sanford’s class on Cultural Resource Management compiled lists of online CRM resources in order to explore the “mixed-bag” nature of the field. These lists have been culled and formed into a usable directory. Below are brief descriptions of the resource categories and links to the directories themselves.
When looking at the websites from different universities, a majority of them offered a MA program in CRM. Sonoma State University is an example of this. These MA programs are usually connected to the anthropology departments at these institutions. Besides having just a pure CRM degree, a number of universities offer CRM concentrations incorporated into another degree. Southern Oregon University has an environmental studies degree with a CRM concentration option. As well as degree programs, some universities supply courses, seminars and associates degrees in CRM. There are also undergraduate related concentrations, programs and courses on cultural resources management. The National Park Service has a list of the universities who have CRM if one is looking for a more detailed listing.
Government agencies are one of the entities most involved in cultural resource management. With a high amount of funding come from federal money, agencies at many levels are required to participate in the various review process associated with federal legislature including NEPA and the NHPA. These include conducting environmental impact statements and completing the process of Section 106 review. Some of the largest players include the Federal Highway Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior and all branches of the military under the Department of Defense. Their websites outline their importance in maintaining the nation’s cultural resources. They provide links to legislature, their past projects and sometimes even provide information on their in house CRM firms.
CRM firms make up a large portion of searchable websites related to Cultural Resource Management. Their popularity can be explained by the variety of services and localities that require private companies’ expertise. While almost all of the companies offer archaeological consulting, a number of firms offer broader CRM services in architecture, history, natural resource management, disaster management, compliance, sustainability, economic and financial services, among many others. While most CRM firms cover vast regions and cross state boarders, there are a few that function as small, local businesses with few staff and a smaller market. It is interesting to note the clients that some CRM firms openly list as project examples. For example, the Louis Berger Group lists a number of important federal agencies as past and present clients. This gives a viewer the impression that the Louis Berger Group is a reputable company with a lot of experience in different fields. Given the large number of CRM firms that can cover one region, the reputation of each company can sometimes dictate which company gets a contract and which company does not. In a similar trend, there are a number of directory websites that list CRM firms based on job availability and office location that further simplifies the search process and can separate the reputable and non-reputable firms. It is evident that CRM firms exemplify the mixed bag of the CRM industry, as there is so much variation from one company to the next as far as services, expertise and size.
The category of International/Specialized/Other CRM services consists of a variety of roles that exist to help maintain the original fabric and culture of historic resources. The group of International CRM websites varies in purpose and historical services according to which nation it functions under. This is indicative of the prioritization of different nations’ definitions of “cultural resource management” and how they define it. Its presence on the internet varies by nation. Specialized CRM websites use a combination of technologies such as spatial technology and database management systems to enhance historic preservation. Specific topics such as geo-archaeology and environmental CRM also function under this area. These focuses allow for planning and decisions to be made in order to prepare maps of historic districts and battlefields, as well as focus on specific topics and aspects of cultural resource management. The presence of specialized CRM sites on the internet varies by subject, as often specialists and certain technologies can be included in general CRM firms. This category features multiple disciplines working together in a constantly changing state of affairs.
A wide variety of online resources exist concerning the legal aspects of cultural resource management. While all may address legal matters in some way or another, they can be broken down into to narrower subject matters: firms and laws. The former describes a large number of websites that are published by CRM law firms, outlining their individual practices. The majority of these firms deal with the major federal laws relating to the firm of CRM: NHPA of 1966, ARPA, NAGPRA, NEPA, etc. There are a fair deal of firms that specialize in the environmental aspects of CRM and deal mainly with NEPA, CEQA, etc. The second category (laws) describes sites that are presented to address the specific elements of the laws relating to CRM. These sites are sponsored by organizations such as the National Park Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Trust, etc. and present versions of the actual laws themselves in addition to plans advising federal agencies steps in executing compliance.
Because SHPO websites are created state-by-state, they vary greatly. Some SHPOs have their own websites and others are run through their state’s historical society. For example, the Ohio SHPO is through the Ohio Historical Society, but the Wyoming SHPO has its own website. Virginia’s SHPO website is through the Department of Historic Resources. They also vary in the information and resources they provide. Some, like Washington, provide interactive maps whereas others may only offer contact information for the SHPO. The basis for each SHPO may be similar, however they are presented in different ways and many offer more helpful resources. North Carolina, for example, has a website that is full of links and other resources dealing with historic preservation and cultural resource management. This shows that it is up to each state to decide exactly how active and resourceful their SHPO will be.